Minami Minegishi’s Scandal & Demotion

I still don’t think I’m in the right state of mind to be writing this, but I’m going to try.

Minami Minegishi

Where do I even start? How do I even begin?

We’ve had other boyfriend scandals and things of that nature. But what makes this case so different? What makes Minami special enough to be featured in international blogs and articles? It’s something that has been mentioned constantly on so many other idol blogs…

Minami shaved her head.

This is the one and only reason why Minami’s dating scandal has caught on like wildfire. And I can’t help but continue it.

Minami Minegishi

I really like–and will continue to like–Miichan. She’s quirky, goofy, pretty, and seems to be a genuine person. Her appearance in AKB48’s 2012 documentary, Show must go on, made me feel a stronger connection toward her. She was a real human being. In a way, she kind of let go of her idol persona and let a real girl shine. I enjoy that honesty and sincerity.

And to see her… like this… Tears streaming down her face and nothing but tuffs of hair attached to her head… It hurt so damn much. What could possibly make a person–a young girl–feel so much pain and anguish that she proceeded to shave off her hair?

This scandal… AKB48… Idols… The contract… The rules…

Minami Minegishi - Shunkan Bunshun

This godforsaken magazine had to go and ruin a perfectly well-rounded young woman’s stable and happy career. One thing that pissed me off was the lack of evidence this fucking magazine had. I’m not sure if there’s a full translation floating around somewhere(please direct me if there is), but this article never once mentioned what time Minami entered the home or any pictures to back up that information.

So what the hell does that leave us with? Pictures of her leaving. I also argued that maybe she was there earlier in the day and was leaving at that moment. Is that so impossible of an explanation? So, now idols cannot have any male friends at all? What the fuck?

Now, let’s forget about this bullshit “evidence” and understand the situation itself.

We all know that idols and boyfriends are not okay. We all understand that an idol risks their whole career and reputation in the entertainment business when they step out with a lover. Everyone complains about it but it will never change. I’ve accepted this fact a long, long time ago, and it’s time we all realize it’s never going anywhere.

What bothers me about this case is the extremity that Minami(or Minami’s agency forced) went to.When it came to Rino Sashihara’s scandal, she was followed, questioned, and eventually transferred. But all in all, she dealt with whatever consequences that were bound to come for breaking the rules or keeping her mouth shut when it wasn’t true in the first place. In Minami’s case…she could’ve just done the same. She could’ve said, “You know what, yes, it happened and I’m sorry for what I did, but I did it. It’s over with and I can’t do shit to change it.” She could’ve said, “No! This isn’t right! I wasn’t in a romantic relationship with this boy! This magazine has it all wrong!” But no, she found it so mentally agonizing that ridding her hair as if she murdered someone was the only way to beg for forgiveness.

Minami Minegishi

Some have been arguing furiously that Minami didn’t make this decision alone. And it’s quite a big possibility. Considering that this is the idol business we’re talking about and 97% of idols’ decisions are influenced by their management, it’s quite possible that Minami didn’t make this choice all on her own. But what does it mean if she did make the decision alone? Is she honestly that resentful of her decisions? Does that mean that the article was actually true?

Many others have been shouting “human rights.” And truthfully, I can’t say I think the same. Unless Minami’s management comes out and says, “We forced Minami against her will to shave her head and record an apology,” then I really can’t. Yes, it’s true that she is an adult and she should be able to do whatever the hell she wants… But she’s an idol. I’m not trying to make it seem like being an idol is so much more important than being human–because it’s not–but she signed up for it. If there was any moment in which she thought that she couldn’t take it anymore and that it was seriously hurting her mental–or even physical state–she could have left. No one lifted a gun to her head and said, “Bitch, if you don’t join, I’ll blow your brains out.” It’s like signing a contract. If you don’t read it in the first place and are complaining when you don’t like an outcome, it’s your own damn fault. In the case of an idol, you’re signing away your personal life and that’s just the way it is. Doesn’t make it okay, but that’s the way it’ll be no matter what we argue.

What the hell am I concluding here… What the hell am I even doing…

This is the price we pay. This is the price of fame and glory and pride. Minami was demoted because she is an idol and idols aren’t supposed to date. Minami mumbled a tearful apology because she needed to inform her fans. Minami shaved her head because she was told that breaking the “no dating” rule is the equivalent to hurting a whole nation--and that isn’t right. She could have just taken the punishment and apologized. But no, it was drilled into her mind that shaving her head was the only way out. And that’s disturbing.

2 thoughts on “Minami Minegishi’s Scandal & Demotion

  1. This whole thing is a very tricky issue.
    I know you don’t see much evidence, but Miichan’s apology is a confession of her “wrongdoing”.
    As you know, there has been precedence for this type of scandal. The offending party is asked/forced to leave the idol world forever, and she (hopefully) end up as regulars on variety shows. This should have been the story for Minegishi.
    Miichan’s head-shaving and apology trick has seriously taken the focus away from the main point- she broke her contract! I know I sound cruel and inhumane, but I feel that her apology has turned her from a willful rule-breaker into a “human rights victim”. She is no victim- she brought this upon herself.

    • At any other time, I would agree. Yep, she brought it upon herself. Yep, she has to pay for her wrong-doing. But the fact of the matter is, she shaved her head. She thought that the only way to repent herself for her–ultimately–“sins” was to get rid of something that is so very precious to us girls–her hair. Not only that, but she humiliated herself on an international website for the whole world to see, and eventually react to. All because she did something extremely natural to a 20 year-old woman. Now, I really don’t like complaining about the “dating rule,” but for her to go to that extremity just so she wasn’t kicked out completely is extremely twisted and demented.

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